WARM VEGETABLE SALAD 4 small zucchini (about 1 lb.) 4 medium carrots (about 10 oz.) 4 stalks celery (about 6 oz.), preferably the tender, inner stalks 5 or 6 scallions (about 5 oz.) 1 small head cauliflower (about 1 lb.), washed and separated into
1 1/2-inch flowerets 6 large radishes, washed and cut into 1/4-inch slices FOR THE DRESSING: 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard 1/3 cup peanut oil 1 tablespoon cider vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Meanwhile, trim and wash the zucchini. Cut them crosswise into 3-inch chunks, and then lengthwise into 1/2-inch sticks.
Peel the carrots and the celery, and cut both into sticks 2 inches by 1/2 inch. Trim and wash the scallions, and cut them into 2-inch sticks.
Add the carrots and celery to the boiling water.
Cook for 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower, boil for 5 minutes, and then add the zucchini and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the scallions and radishes and cook for 10 seconds. Drain, reserving the vegetable stock for soup.
For the dressing: Mix together the dressing ingredients in a bowl suitable for serving the salad. Add the hot vegetables and toss to coat with the dressing. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature, but not cold.
Note: The dressing can be doubled and the excess stored in a small jar in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
Place all the dressing ingredients in the jar and shake vigorously to mix. This mustard vinaigrette is excellent on any type of green salad. Serves 6.
MACARONI BEAUCAIRE 1 lb. elbow macaroni 1/4 cup olive oil 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup minced chives VEGETABLE GARNISH: 1/2 cup canola oil 2 eggplants (about 1 1/2 lb. total), cut lengthwise into
12 slices, each about 1/2 inch thick 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 ripe tomatoes (about 1 lb.), cut into 1/2-inch slices 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a pot. Add the macaroni, and stir frequently until the water returns to the boil so the elbows don't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Cook the macaroni until just tender, from 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the manufacturer). Remove about 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid and place it in a serving bowl large enough to hold the macaroni. Drain the elbows in a colander. Add the olive oil, grated cheese, salt, and pepper to the reserved cooking liquid in the bowl. Mix well, then add the drained macaroni and the chives, and mix well again. Set aside.
For the vegetable garnish: Heat the canola oil in a large skillet. When hot, add the eggplant slices in one layer, sprinkle them with the salt and saute them for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes on each side, until soft and nicely browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Reserve the 6 nicest slices of eggplant and half the tomato slices, and arrange the remainder of these vegetables in a 14- by 10-inch gratin dish so they completely cover the bottom of the dish. Distribute the macaroni evenly on top, and arrange the reserved eggplant and tomato slices in an alternating pattern over the macaroni. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. (The dish can be prepared ahead to this point and refrigerated until serving time.)
Place the gratin in a preheated 400-degree F. oven for approximately 20 minutes (25 to 30 if the dish has been refrigerated), until the cheese has melted and the macaroni is heated through. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
STRAWBERRY SUMMER PUDDING About 1 1/2 pints (1 1/4 lb.) ripe strawberries 1/2 cup sugar 6 oz. bread 3/4 cup strawberry jam 1 cup sour cream (optional)
Clean and hull the strawberries. Cut 12 of the berries into thin slices (you should have about 1 1/4 cups), and mix them with 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Set aside.
Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor and process for a few seconds to make coarse bread crumbs (you should have 2 cups). Set aside.
Place the whole berries, the jam, and the remaining sugar in the processor bowl, and process until smooth.
Transfer to a bowl and lightly fold in the bread crumbs. Divide the pudding among six 1-cup containers. Refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours.
To serve, spoon the reserved berry slices onto six dessert dishes. Unmold the puddings on top of the berries, and serve with the sour cream, if desired. Serves 6.